Mary Ann (Schmank) Wilkinson, 91, died on December 2, 2020, at her home surrounded by her children. Mary was born on February 21, 1929 at Mercy Hospital in Portsmouth, Ohio to Joseph F. and Catherine L. (Walter) Schmank. She and her family moved to Wauwatosa following the historic Ohio River Flood of 1937.
Mary attended Marquette University in Milwaukee where she met her husband, L. Richard “Dick” Wilkinson. Mary and Dick wed September 10, 1955 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. They were married for 61 years until Dick’s death in 2017. Mary, Dick and family relocated to Milwaukee, Eau Claire, Durand, Merrill, Chicago, IL, back to Eau Claire, and Lansing, MI. In retirement, Mary and Dick lived on the shores of Green Lake before moving to Neenah in 2016.
Mary was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Mary and Dick’s seven children, their children’s spouses, and grandchildren were all dearly loved by both Mary and Dick. Following their immediate family was her love for her extended family and many close, lifelong friends.
Mary is survived by her and Dick’s seven children: Kathleen Wilkinson, Mary (John) Seyer, Jeanne (Tom) Young, Beth (Paul) Urmann, David (Sara) Wilkinson, Ann (Todd) Plier and Daniel (Tricia) Wilkinson; thirteen grandchildren: Kate Seyer, Helen (Rod) Kouba, Emily (Jon) Fleming, Sam and Luke Young, Joe, Peter and Jack Urmann, James, George and Henry Wilkinson, Katie (Tom) Hart and Michelle Plier; two great-grandchildren: Blake Hart and Georgia Kouba; two brothers: Joseph (Joan) and Bob (Judy) Schmank; other relatives and many friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Dick, her mother, Catherine Louise, her father, Joseph Francis, and mother-in-law, Helen “Hano” Wilkinson.
The greatest influence in Mary’s life was her Catholic faith. She was recently active in St. Gabriel Parish Ladies in Prayer Group. She and Dick were dedicated to right to life causes in support of unborn life. Mary was a prolific correspondent who stayed in lifelong contact with many, many friends and relatives. She was the central figure who held family and friends together despite distances. Mary always put the interests of others before her own needs. Her kind, sweet, nurturing nature was admired by all who knew her.
Private funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm, Thursday, December 10, 2020, at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 900 Geiger St., Neenah, with Fr. Bob Kollath officiating. Funeral mass can be attended via live-stream on the Kessler Funeral Home & Cremation Service Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Veritas Society of Wisconsin Right to Life: https://wisconsinrighttolife.org/donate/ ,or St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, Neenah: http://stgabrielparish.com/. For online condolences, please visit: www.kesslerfh.com.
The family extends a special thank you to the ThedaCare hospice nurses and staff for their compassionate care for Mary and support for her family.
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